In what year did the Spaniards conquer Antwerp?

The Spaniards on the island of Elba

Spain was also interested in one Outpost towards the center of the Mediterranean and so in 1603, Filippo III, King of Spain, managed the natural bay of Longone (Porto Azzurro) and then build one fortress to begin according to the plans of Don Garcia di Toledo, who took the large port of the Hanseatic city of Antwerp as a model.

A site of the Spaniards established itself here for almost a century and a half. In 1646 three thousand French infantrymen and three hundred horsemen landed on Elba; after conquering Piombino, they besieged Rio, the fortress del Giogo and finally Longone; also France was interested in a fortress for the conquest of Italy.

The Spaniards surrendered to the numerical superiority of the French, but only 4 years later under Don Juan, son of King Filippo IV, they regained their rule.

In the meantime, the pirates continued to attack from the sea. For this reason, and to defend themselves from any further attacks by the French, the Spanish decided to build another fortress in the Bay of Longone: Forte Focardo (1659). It was located in front of the fortress di Longone and made it practically impossible for enemies to invade the bay. After some eventful years for the whole of Europe, in 1708 Austrian troops, who had allied themselves with the Spaniards against the French, landed near Rio, which was still under Spanish control.

Since they did not know about the alliance the Spaniards resisted for at least 4 months, particularly in Longone and Capoliveri, and they finally succeeded in driving out the German-speaking troops. After indicting the population of favoritism, the Spaniard ordered the demolition of the ramparts of Capoliveri, then the fortress del Giogo, and the fortress of Marciana and much more. Thereupon he was deposed because of the protests of the Elban people.

Ferdinando, heir to Cosimo III, dies in 1713. On the orders of the Grand Duke Gian Gastone, the fortress of S. Giovanni Battista near Portoferraio was demolished because, if it fell into the hands of the enemy, it could pose a great threat to Cosmopoli. In 1738 Gian Gastone succeeds Carlo Borbone, the son of Elisabetta Farnense and Filippo V of Spain, who for political reasons leaves the island of Elba to the Germans under Franz I of Habsburg.

A few years later he was followed by his second-born Peter Leopold, who - after a first moment in which he wanted to leave Portoferraio to the English - took his rule on Elba very seriously and, for example, had the Portoferraio lighthouse built, which made trade easier.

Obtained in the summer of 1796 the English> with the excuse of wanting to defend Elba from the French, permission from the Grand Duke's government to land on Elba. Due to the numerical superiority and the technical superiority of the English, will the island soon became a British bulwark.

However, the protests of the Grand Duke Ferdinand lead to the English leaving the island again in April 1797. In the meantime, France had gradually driven out all of the Italian rulers, resulting in Elba in 1799 passed to the French Republic.

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